Anna Graham taught herself how to make macarons. With the internet’s endless possibilities at her disposal, she was soon able to perfect the delicate treats. After that, friends started ordering macarons for special occasions. An online business soon followed and, a wrong turn at the right street later, Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café came to fruition.
The street side café is cozy and filled with cute little knick knacks. Upon entry, one could feel that the place is truly a labor of love because of personal touches that adorn every corner. The food labels and the sign at the door are written in a charming handwriting that belongs to Mrs. Graham herself. Across the cash register, there is a corner where homemade crafts from various sellers sit proudly on display. French songs play softly through the speakers. Board games and the like are available for customers to borrow and enjoy. Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café is an ideal place to go hang out with friends or just sit and quietly relish a nice cup of coffee.
Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café specializes in, you guessed it, macarons. This intricate French pastry has managed to create a strong foothold in the Philippines for the past few years and that’s one of the main reasons why Anna chose to focus on them. Just in case the name wasn’t enough of a giveaway as to what the store is all about, the two giant macaron electric fans that hang from the ceiling will clue customers in.
What sets Mrs. Graham’s macarons apart from all the others is her quirky choice of flavors. The store carries 12 macaron variants that are always available with prices ranging from P45-P60. It was in this café where I first encountered macarons with assorted fillings wedged in between the pastry shells. Take for example the Bibingka with Buttercream and Salted Egg macaron that immediately caught my attention. It was supposed to be just a Christmas special but people loved it so much that they decided to keep it as a regular feature on the menu. An actual slice of bibingka with the tiniest hint of salted egg is squeezed in between the macaron. It has a nice buttery bibingka taste that coats the palate after the first bite. The salted egg was, in my opinion, a little too small. It would have been nice if the saltiness was a bit more prominent.
They also have a Pancake with Maple Buttercream macaron with an actual minuscule pancake slice in the middle. Their French Toast with Peanut Buttercream macaron holds a cube of French toast complete with a sprinkling of cinnamon, while their S’mores flavor has a toasted marshmallow between the shells.
It was also in Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Café where I came across my first ever spiked macaron. They have three flavors that are laced with popular alcoholic drinks: Tequila Rose, Bailey’s, and Malibu Rum. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t really notice the alcohol that’s incorporated in the buttercream, but those with a keen sense of alcoholic beverages may detect subtle hints of the aforementioned flavors.
The other macaron flavors that they offer in the café are: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Salted Caramel, White Coffee, Tiramisu, and Cookie Dough. Mrs. Graham’s macarons are satisfyingly crispy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and always generously filled with flavored butter cream or ganache. If you want to sample all their macarons, I suggest that you get their Tea Set (P800) which has all 12 flavors, other assorted pastries, and finger sandwiches.
Mrs. Graham’s Macaron café also serves as a platform for several home bakers from all over the Metro such as Kalookies, Sugar Stop, Lulu’s Cupcakes, Lindie’s Zuckerhaus, and Kusina Torre.
The café serves locally sourced Barako coffee infused with different flavors such as Hazelnut, Vanilla, Macadamia Nut, and more. If you’re having a hard time deciding what to order, there are salt shakers by the counter that contain different coffee flavors. Just take a whiff and take your pick. Coffee prices are P80-P145 and could be served either cold or hot.
They also carry assorted teas from renowned tea specialist, TWG that go for P110. Teas can also be served cold. Harry Potter fans will get a kick out of their version of Butterbeer (P120), a sweet, thick and rich milky concoction that actually contains butter. It was a little too decadent for my taste so I wasn’t able to finish my large cup. A smaller serving would have been better.
Mrs. Graham’s fun and playful approach to making macarons is a welcome addition to a market where old flavors could easily get boring. I for one am glad that she took that wrong turn which prompted her to move her business out of her home and out into the world. I think it’s fitting that Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe ended up on 51C Scout Rallos Street because it seems to me that it’s right where it’s supposed to be.